Saturday, January 14, 2017

Potter Things: Sorting the Stranger Things Characters into Hogwarts Houses

Inevitably, whenever I fall in love with new characters, I try to figure out their Hogwarts Houses. It's just something that is part of the fandom life, apparently. Thus, as I watched Stranger Things for the first (and second) time, I started sorting the characters into the four houses. This was a hard process (and not just because sorting is more complicated than courage, knowledge, loyalty, and ambition). Several of the characters seemed to fit into multiple houses; others change partway through the season, which messes with my original decision on who they are and what they value. After several discussions with fellow fangirls and a search into the far reaches of the Upside Down Internet for more insight, I've sorted the main cast into the houses that I feel fit each character the best.

Spoilers included.


Throughout the eight-episode season, Mike tends to exhibit two main characteristics: recklessness and loyalty. Initially, I thought he might be Hufflepuff because of how friendly he is (especially to Eleven), how loyal he is to his friends (like when he jumped off a cliff to save Dustin), and how honest he is. He trusts people easily and he defends those he loves (yes, even Nancy). But the more I thought about it, Mike also tends to be bold and make risky choices to show his loyalty and love. Jumping off a cliff to save his friend is "brave to the point of reckless," something that is found among Gryffindors. He also stands up to the "bad" guys, even when they have guns, and he's very chivalrous toward Eleven. He's full of courage and nerve and reckless behavior, willing to do almost anything to help his friends, especially Eleven. Mike Wheeler is definitely Gryffindor.

"No! You want her, you have to kill us first!" 
Hufflepuff (almost Ravenclaw)

Dustin was hard to sort. He exhibits a lot of qualities that scream Hufflepuff, but he also relies heavily on knowledge and logic, and he loves learning about the intricate details of science. Despite this love for learning, I decided Dustin fits better into Hufflepuff than Ravenclaw. He is very loyal to his friends. He's the one that is always breaking up the fights and making sure everybody gets along. He wants to have fun with his friends. He's friendly to everybody, offering the last slice of pizza to Nancy or greeting Eleven with his winning smile. I think his love for learning flows into his Hufflepuff nature, which makes him a hard worker and a loyal friend. Dustin Henderson is Hufflepuff. (Though, if I could, I'd sort him into Ravenpuff.)

"You better run! She’s our friend and she’s crazy."
Ravenclaw (almost Slytherin)

Lucas was another hard character to pinpoint. I finally decided he works as Ravenclaw because of his focus on logic and his independent nature. He sticks to the facts, realizing that something is odd about Eleven even when nobody else seems to think it's a problem. He doesn't trust her easily, and he's determined to find Will. He's an independent thinker that uses his brain to solve the problems on his own when his friends won't cooperate. While some of the time he can come across Slytherin--he's shrewd and seems to be achievement-oriented--I don't think he quite fits that house. Thus, Lucas Sinclair is Ravenclaw. (Though, if he were Slytherin, the four boys would each be one of the four houses, which is interesting.)

"First off, it's a wrist-rocket."

We don't get a lot about Will in season one. Most of what we learn about him comes from what others--like his mom--say about him. We know he's a smart kid that values learning. Joyce is adamant that he would never "just skip school," so that indicates he likes going to school. In addition, he's known as the wizard during their Dungeons and Dragons games. Most of the time, wizards are depicted as the wisest characters (think Gandalf and Dumbledore), so it's safe to assume Will is also seen as the wise one of his group. In addition, Will survives days in the Upside Down while being hunted by the Demogorgon. That might indicate a few resourceful characteristics of Slytherin, but I think he's smart, and he used his intelligence to avoid the monsters. Within the first fifteen minutes of the pilot episode, Will shows more intelligence than any adult in a typical horror movie. To me, Will Byers is Ravenclaw.

"It got me. The Demogorgon."

First and foremost, Joyce is hella brave. Not only does Joyce raise two boys as a single mom, but she stands up for her family no matter what. When the whole world thinks she's going crazy, she stands strong in what she believes--and that takes courage, no matter who you are. However, she also does a lot of reckless stuff to get Will back--like chopping a hole in her house or traveling to the Upside Down with no idea what she could encounter. I've seen arguments that Joyce is Hufflepuff, and I think she does exhibit those characteristics. (Honestly, the entire Byers family shows Hufflepuff tendencies.) But Joyce brandishes a courageous front that can only be Gryffindor. She doesn't run away when there are monsters coming out of the walls or lights flickering. She doesn't back down when they pull Will's body from the quarry. She knows what's the truth, and she's daring enough to hold on to that. Joyce Byers is, hands down, Gryffindor.

"I don’t care if anyone believes me. I am not gonna stop looking for him until I find him and bring him home! I am going to bring him home!"

There is no question in my mind that Hopper is Slytherin. He's not just smart--he's clever. He's also resourceful and ambitious. He is willing to do whatever necessary--even taking down a government agency full of conspiracies and secrets--to find Will Byers and bring him back. Slytherins take the time to weigh all the options before moving forward; Hopper does this. He goes through every scenario with Joyce about Will's disappearance, he talks to Will's friends at school and others in the community, and he searches the surrounding area before accepting other options.  He shows determination and a disregard for rules, both significant qualities of Slytherin. He breaks into several buildings (the government facility, the morgue, even the school) in order to learn the truth. When he gets an idea in his head (Will's body is fake, bugs planted in his house, etc.), he doesn't stop until he confirms that truth. Chief Hopper is 100% Slytherin.

"Mornings are for coffee and contemplation."

As I said before, the entire Byers family has Hufflepuff tendencies, but Jonathan displays Hufflepuff the most. He's loyal to his family and the family name, not wanting the people of Hawkins to perceive them as crazy or low-life. He's always patient with this mom, giving her a chance even when she seems to be talking nonsense. He's honest, and he's a hard-worker. He takes extra shifts in order to help out his family, especially his mother. He's fiercely protective of Will, and he's dedicated to making sure his family has everything they need. Jonathan Byers, no doubt, is Hufflepuff.

"Sometimes people don’t really say what they’re really thinking. But you capture the right moment, it says more."

Nancy is a character I had a hard time sorting. She easily could fit into three, if not all four, of the houses due to her actions throughout the season. Ultimately though, I decided Nancy's actions all stem from one goal: preserving her way of life. She's obviously intelligent since she focuses on her school work and being the "perfect" girl. But she also cares a lot about what other people think, like Barb or Steve. (She also feels that everybody is staring after her and Steve have sex, which worries her.) Her motivation comes from her ambition and achievements. She wants to study because that will earn her good grades. She wants Steve to like her because that will make her look cool (or something). She hunts monsters because that is the only way to stop the weird stuff happening in Hawkins. She is a good leader (she's the one that convinces Jonathan to go monster hunting), she's clever (come on, she knows how to sneak out of her house undetected and manipulate her parents), and she's ambitious (she doesn't back down until she gets what she wants). I think Nancy Wheeler is Slytherin.

"Every time I close my eyes, I keep seeing that thing. Wherever I was... that place... I think it lives there. It was feeding there. Feeding on that deer. That means that if Will and Barbara..." 

We don't get a lot of time with Barb before she's taken by the Demogorgon, but with the little time we do have, it's obvious Barb is Hufflepuff. First off, she looks out for her friends. Most of her actions revolve around keeping Nancy safe and away from doing something stupid. She goes to the party to watch out for Nancy, and she hangs around after just in case Nancy might need her. She's very loyal and patient and honest with Nancy. If we had more than three episodes with her, we might have found a different side to Barb. But I think overall, Barb Holland is Hufflepuff.

"Nancy, seriously, you're gonna be so cool now, it's ridiculous."

Steve, oh, Steve. I had a hard time placing him as well, mainly because I think most of his character is hidden by a facade. His true self comes out during the last episode when he fights the Demogorgon. In this moment, when all is at stake (his way of life, his chance with Nancy, etc.), he exhibits reckless bravery. He doesn't even hesitate to grab that bat and start beating the living daylights out of the monster. Other small moments give Steve a Gryffindor nature. He's daring and determined. While he might not seem to show chivalry, he does. He stops when Nancy tells him to; he looks away when she asks. He only acts when she gives him permission. And even later, when his moronic friends are being total douchebags, he makes the decision to do the right thing. Steve Harrington is, surprisingly, Gryffindor.

"I'm stealthy. Like a ninja."

Okay, okay, I know this is probably cheating. You were all probably waiting in anticipation for my decision about Eleven, but honestly, I don't know what she is. Throughout the season, she exhibits qualities for all four houses. She makes a lot of bold decisions (running away from the facility in the first place, dealing with bullies, and fighting the Demogorgon). She shows a steadfast loyalty to Mike (trusting and believing him, coming to his rescue time after time). She shows intellect and curiosity to learn and understand the world (asking questions, revealing the truth). And she makes choices that come across ambitious and self-preserving. I feel that due to Eleven's upbringing and development, she cannot be accurately sorted at this time. Maybe once we learn more about her and who she is becoming, it'll be easy to sort (and type her). For now, I'm leaving her sorting to be determined because there's still a lot to be done with her character.

"Friends don't lie."
How would you sort the Stranger Things characters?


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